Installation of Children of the Plumed Serpent

March 28, 2012

LACMA’s newest exhibition, Children of the Plumed Serpent: The Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico, opens to the public this Sunday (members get exclusive previews Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). Children of the Plumed Serpent is the first major survey of art created by a particular alliance of ancient kingdoms in southern Mexico who believed its people to be direct descendants of the Plumed Serpent god, Queztzalcoatl. Featuring more than two hundred objects, including painted codices, gold, turquoise mosaics, and ceramics, Children of the Plumed Serpent explores the incredible aesthetic and economic achievements of these little-known cultures.

Now that the installation is complete, we thought we would give you a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of this major exhibition.

These pair of monumental feet come from the site of Tula. The feet belonged to an atlantid warrior who stood behind the column fragment in the third picture below.

These pair of monumental feet come from the site of Tula. The feet belonged to an atlantid warrior who stood behind the column fragment in the next picture.

This image shows the installation of a column fragment from the site of Tula. Because of it’s weight, we needed to use a gantry to hoist it upright. The low relief carvings around the column show images of cut shells and feathers, the emblems of Quetzalcoatl.

This image shows a monumental serpent sculpture from the site of Cholula. This serpent, excavated a few years ago, was found in proximity to the great pyramid of Cholula.

Conservator John Hirx examines an incense burner in the form of Quetzalcoatl from the site of Mayapan.

Curator Victoria Lyall works with art preparators Jordan Measavage and Eddie Diaz to arrange objects in the case dedicated to the rain god.

Curator Bertina Olmedo from the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico, and conservator Lily Doan examine objects after they have arrived from Mexico.

One of the art preparators holding a gold bell recovered from Monte Alban’s Tomb 7 in present-day Oaxaca. They need to examine each piece in the round to devise a mount for it.

Curator Fernando Carrizosa and conservator María Barajas from the Templo Mayor Museum in Mexico City watch with conservator Lily Doan as art preparators place the Templo Mayor’s turquoise mosaic disk recovered from Offering 99.

Children of the Plumed Serpent is on view in the Resnick Pavilion beginning this Sunday through July 1. Member preview days start tomorrow and go through Saturday. Be sure to keep checking the blog and LACMA's calendar for up-to-date listings of all events and programs related to this exhibition and more.